TJ tries to decipher if Santonio Holmes is truly happy on the New York Jets
Daily News Jets columnist Manish Mehta reported that Santonio Holmes discussed whether he was happy with his role yesterday. Here’s what Holmes “said.” We attempt to translate what he “meant.”
Holmes: “We’re here to win ballgames”
Translation: The Jets top WR has his priorities in order even though he’d like to be doing better statistically.
Holmes: “We can’t worry about how many catches and yards and touchdowns we put up each game. We just know that we have to do what we have to do week in and week out to help this team continue stacking wins on top of wins.”
Translation: Holmes appears to be putting on his captain’s hat straight by saying that winning comes first. This after his captaincy was questioned by lineman Brandon Moore a short time ago. Holmes had publicly noted the offensive line as being a prime culprit for the offensive struggles in October.
At the same time, “can’t worry” doesn’t mean that Santonio doesn’t worry, or want to be more involved. He does.
Holmes: (Three) touchdowns on the season, I think. I think that’s a pretty good ratio. 22 catches. (Three) touchdowns. Fits well in my book right now.”
Translation: Holmes is using the notion of “ratio” kindly, to allude to the fact that given the Jets modest productivity through the air to date, he has done what has been asked of him.
It is a stat invented by Holmes maybe for the purpose of stiff arming any portrayal of his work so far as having produced an underachieving level of output. Plaxico Burress was the target of media scrutiny for the lack of contribution, prior to a three touchdown breakout game against the Chargers.
The Jets might want to capitalize on an extra motivation that Holmes may now be building up internally due to being under a microscope since his comments made in Baltimore a month back, by sending a few extra balls HIS way on Sunday
TOJ breaks down the New York Jets week 9 match-up against the Buffalo Bills
Offense: I don’t think it is any secret that the New York Jets need to run the football this Sunday. They haven’t cracked 40 carries in a single game yet, but with Shonn Greene’s recent emergence and talk of Joe McKnight receiving more opportunities this week, now could be the time. Buffalo struggles to stop the run and has only had success on defense when they have forced turnovers. This is the perfect week to run right at them, have Mark Sanchez work off his play action and bootlegs, and control the time of possession. Remember the Jets game-plan back when they beat Cincinnati in the wild-card round? Brian Schottenheimer should dust off that tape.
Santonio Holmes is due for a big game and if he could find single coverage off play action, he should be able to make plays down the field. Also keep an eye on Dustin Keller, who did have two touchdowns against in Buffalo last year.
Mark Sanchez needs to protect the football and know when to pick his spots. With the recent improvement in the offensive line’s pass protection, he should have time in the pocket but this isn’t the type of game where he should try to do too much. Shonn Greene, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Joe McKnight need to lead the charge. It would be nice to see Brian Schottenheimer finally dust off a screen pass or two to his backs as well.
Defense: A nice challenge for a unit this showed signs of improvement last week. Expect the Jets base defense to have Kyle Wilson and Brodney Pool out there to match-up with Buffalo’s spread attack. The key to slowing down Buffalo is slowing down Fred Jackson. If the Jets can keep him under 100 yards, I would expect a victory. Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown his share of interceptions this year and if the Jets can get after him (see Aaron Maybin), they should be able to force him into mistakes.
Keep in mind Buffalo’s passing attack is built on timing and quick releases. The Jets have the corners in Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Kyle Wilson to play a physical man to man press with should disrupt the timing of Buffalo’s plays. Stevie Johnson isn’t doing anything on Revis and there is no reason Cromartie shouldn’t be able to handle David Nelson. The safeties and corners all need to have a hand in slowing down Fred Jackson as a receiver out of the backfield.
Special Teams: Two excellent units facing off against each other here, as it will be exciting to watch Joe McKnight and Brad Smith duel on returns. Nick Folk has been perfect this season at kicker, which is surprising and scary as you feel he is due for a big miss.
TOJ wonders if the New York Jets defense has the personnel to slow down Buffalo’s high powered offense
The Buffalo Bills have surprised this season led by a high powered offense. Running back Fred Jackson is playing as well as any back in the league and possesses the type of game breaking ability on the edges that has given the New York Jets defense fits this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick quarterbacks a spread attack that is built around his quick release and timing.
In terms of Buffalo’s passing attack, the Jets are built to stop them. They have the corners to match-up with their receivers, who have the ability to be physical enough with them to disrupt their timing and push them around the field. Aaron Maybin is going to lead a charged up pass rush that should have the ability to get after Fitzpatrick.
It is going to come down to stopping Jackson both as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield, if the Jets defense wants to have a respectable showing on Sunday. There still remains a chance Mike DeVito won’t play this weekend, which means the pressure will be on Muhammad Wilkerson and the rotation of Marcus Dixon and Ropati Pitoitua at end to set the edge, along with Calvin Pace at outside linebacker.
When it comes to covering Jackson out of the backfield, that is on the safeties and extra corners. I would expect the Jets to spend most of this game with 5 or 6 defensive backs on the field. Kyle Wilson and Brodney Pool should play the bulk of the game and need to help in run support, along with disrupting the short passing game.
The Jets defense played their best half of the season against San Diego. They now need to build on it against a better offense.
The New York Jets rushing attack needs to carry them to a victory against Buffalo
Over the past few years, the New York Jets have destroyed the Buffalo Bills with their rushing attack. Even though Buffalo is improved in 2011, it doesn’t mean they haven’t struggled stopping the running game. The Bills have allowed at least 100 yards rushing in every game this season up until last week, where they were facing the pathetic Washington Redskins. Overall, they don’t have a strong defense but have been able to thrive off turnovers and creating points from them. Their high powered offense is truly what has led the way to the Bills early success.
Enter the Jets, who have been improving their running game and have a quarterback, who despite improving is still prone to a few erratic interceptions here or there. It shouldn’t take a genius to compose the blueprint for a victory this Sunday: run the football and don’t turn the football over, by limiting the number of pass attempts. The ground it out game-plan, will keep Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson off the field, where they can’t rack up another 30 point performance.
This is the type of game where Shonn Greene’s 20-25 carries needs to be supported by another 12-15 from the LaDainian Tomlinson/Joe McKnight combination. The Jets should be relentless with their rushing attack, as they have the talent on the offensive line and at running back to dominate the Bills front seven. Mark Sanchez can take his shots, but they should be few and far between and built to take advantage of Buffalo overreacting to the Jets commitment to the run by stuffing the box. If the Jets offense is running the way they should, you can bet Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller will be able to get wide open down the field off play action.
There appears to be some swag returning to the Ground portion of the Jets “Ground and Pound,” which is good timing because the cold weather is here and the formula for this team’s success is built around confidence, running the football, and smashmouth defense.
The table is set for the New York Jets to make a big second half run
After all of the hysterics and theatrics of the New York Jets three game losing streak, here is their current situation after 8 weeks of football.
- Buffalo: 5-2
- New England: 5-2
- Jets: 4-3
One game behind both the Patriots and Bills, with two games left against Buffalo and one left against New England, in complete control of their own destiny after an extra week to get healthy and prepared.
Rex Ryan has already talked about the Jets making “their run.” The schedule breaks favorably for them after these two games. There is no reason they shouldn’t win 5 of their next 6 and be 9-4 heading into their final three games. Of course, it is easy to say those kind of things on paper. However, at a minimum the Jets must find a way to split these next two. If they happen to take both, they would assert themselves as the best team in the division.
Can they build off their second half against San Diego, which was their best of the season? A power running game, an improving Mark Sanchez and a defense thriving in Rex Ryan’s creativity is a tough formula to beat. Buffalo has been the darling of the AFC early this season, with everybody enjoying their surprising success. The Jets should be keyed up to smack them in face and remind everybody who should be taken most seriously as a contender in the AFC East.